College Update: Republican National Convention – Campus Operations
Message from Dean Cyrus C. Taylor to CWRU College of Arts and Sciences Faculty and Staff
First of all, I would like to express my profound thanks to the college’s administrators and department chairs for their responsiveness throughout the weekend and this week as we began preparations to reduce campus operations July 18–21
I am equally grateful to the faculty and staff for their earnest and resourceful efforts to minimize the disruption to summer courses, research activities, and other essential services and functions of the college.
Some of you have written to me to express concerns about the university’s decision. I value your thoughtful reflections about the implications and consequences of the actions we are taking, and I recognize that members of the university community continue to have questions about the rationale for those actions. Without attempting to summarize or parse the messages you have already received, let me offer you my best understanding of the situation we face.
Although I am not privy to the details, it is very clear to me that there was a change in the security outlook in Cleveland following the assault on police in Dallas last Thursday. As The New York Times noted on Tuesday,
The Cleveland police chief said Friday that after the Dallas shootings the city would be changing its security plans but did not go into detail. Dan Williams, a spokesman for Mayor Frank G. Jackson, also declined to describe how Dallas had reshaped the city’s security plans, or whether officials were concerned about the state’s gun laws.
One would expect city officials to decline to describe how they had modified their plans—to do so would likely be highly counterproductive. I do note that the university is not making its security policy in a vacuum, though again I am not privy to the details of the coordination.
The next critical factor to consider is that the university will be housing 1,700 police during the Republican National Convention, and an additional 200 members of the Ohio National Guard whose function, as I understand it, is to provide security for the police. It is hardly surprising, then, that the need for a significant change in the security profile of CWRU was identified. But I do not expect to learn more on this point—at least not until the convention is over. Although we may all wish that the university could have provided more information, I suspect that there are limits to just how clear one can be in the present circumstances.
For now, I want to emphasize that, whatever mistaken reports you may read elsewhere, the university is not closing next week. We are not cancelling classes. But we are shifting as many operations off-site as possible in order to minimize the number of people on campus and to maximize the number of buildings that we close. With respect to university personnel who must be on campus to carry out essential functions, we are striving to be as responsive as possible to their needs.
Once again, I am deeply grateful for your amazing work, in an exceedingly short time frame, to help the college and the university respond to this difficult situation. More than ever, I am immensely proud to be associated with such wonderful colleagues.
With appreciation and very best wishes,